Are you looking for a way to allude to someone’s swollen belly? Maybe you want to send a quick text about someone in your office being pregnant? Perhaps you just want to say you’re welcome in Italian. If so, then the phrase prego is a fitting way to go about it. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.
The word prego has a few different meanings, all of which depend on the context and who you are speaking to. In slang terms, the word prego refers to someone who is pregnant. It can be used to ask if someone is prego or to refer to someone who is pregnant. It also is a polite phrase in the Italian language.
Prego in Italian can be used to say you’re welcome, I beg your pardon, how can I help you, please, and after you. The context is the best way to ascertain which meaning is appropriate for the word usage. In all forms in Italian, prego is considered extremely polite.
Example Usage of Prego
“I think that Jenny from accounting is prego, I heard the doorman gossiping about it at lunch”.
“All you need is a bit of maternity sauce to make your girlfriend prego”.
“Prego, feel free to seat yourself first, I want you to get the best spot”.
“Prego sir, is there something that you need help locating today?”
Origin of Prego
The word pregnant, or to be with a child came from the Latin language in the early 15c. The Latin word praegnantem means, “with child”. When translated literally, it beams before birth. It was not used in polite conversation until 1950, after which other terms were used instead. Phrases such as: expecting, in a family way, enceinte, in a delicate condition, and anticipating were all common euphemisms. One of the most favored slang terms for pregnant in the 1800s in fact was “poisoned” Modern slang terms for pregnant such as preggers and prego started showing up around 1942. Preggers specifically was the British form of pregnant, while preggo was the American slang form.
The origin of the Italian word prego is the Latin language. Specifically, it is derived from the words prex and prece. These words directly translate to “prayer”. Prego came to be from Latin idioms and expressions in which the speaker was wishing the recipient a long life or good fortune. Things can get a bit complicated as prego, thanks, your welcome, and come in all have different meanings, which can all be conferred using the prego term. The context in which they are used plays a big role in how their meaning is understood. In general, the person being addressed, and the situation make it clear what a person intends when using the word prego.
Phrases Similar to Prego
- Bun in the oven
- Up the duff
- With child
- Can I help
Phrases Opposite to Prego
- Not pregnant
What is the Correct Saying?
- The proper saying is – pregnant or prego in Italian.
Ways People May Incorrectly Say Prego
Some ways that Prego is used incorrectly are:
- Is that guy prego or something? Look at the size of his belly.
- Hey, prego, I see you found everything that you need.
- Prego, I am so happy you are here, I’ll meet you
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Prego
Prego has a few different meanings. In English, it means someone is pregnant or looks pregnant while in Italian it means something completely different. Some ways that Prego is used correctly are:
- Look at that prego chick over there, I don’t know why she is wearing a dress that tight in her condition.
- Prego, I would love to hear what you have to say on the topic of global warming.
- Thank you for coming over Felicia, prego, relax, and enjoy yourself.
- Prego, come posso aiutarla? I would love to help you find something that fits your mood.